Deeply troubled by the profound and universal impact of cancer on human life, human suffering, and on the productivity of nations;
Committed to the humanitarian treatment and equal partnership of people with cancer in the ongoing effort against this disease;
Anticipating the rapidly rising tide of cancer incidence throughout the globe, in developed and developing nations alike;
Recognizing the need for intensified innovation in all avenues of cancer research, prevention and healthcare delivery;
Believing that quality health care is a basic human right;
Acknowledging that currently achievable improvements in cancer survival remain unrealized, due to inadequate emphasis on prevention, inadequate funding and unequal access to quality cancer care;
Certain that lives can and will be saved by increased access to existing technologies;
Aspiring to nothing less than an invincible alliancebetween researchers, healthcare professionals, patients, government, industry and mediato fight cancer and its greatest allies, which are fear, ignorance, and complacency&ldots;
We, the undersigned, in order to prevent and cure cancer, and to maintain the highest quality of life for those living with and dying from this disease, fully commit and hold ourselves accountable to the principles and practices outlined herein.
Cancer patient rights are human rights. The currently evolving movement to define and adopt cancer patients rights is critical to recognizing and protecting the value and dignity of individuals with cancer throughout the world.
The stigma associated with cancer is a significant barrier to progress in both developed and developing nations, often causing:
Undue emotional trauma for patients and their families
Bias and discrimination against employment of people with cancer and/or their meaningful participation in and contribution to society
Related financial hardship and loss of productivity
Poor communication and insufficient public education
An undue sense of fatalism that can adversely impact the commitment of governments, health agencies, and private institutions in the war against cancer.
The parties to this charter undertake to better understand and eradicate the stigmas associated with cancer, to assertively redefine the disease as a treatable biological pathology and not a social condition.
The positive realignment of popular opinion, perception, and concern regarding cancer and the millions of lives it affects will enable the full realization of each of the following priorities.
The parties undertake a vigorous commitment to create an optimal environment for anticancer research
1. Knowledge of the biology of cancer and the fundamental mechanisms by which cancers emerge and progress is the origin of all advances that have increased and will further increase the rate of cure and the quality of life of millions of people worldwide. The identification of new targets for detection, diagnosis, and treatment must accelerate if we are to win the war against cancer.
The parties agree to aggressively build the case for enhanced government and industry funding of basic research, to encourage, protect and incentivize those who innovate, and to increase the means by which scientists may labor in intellectual freedom to constantly advance the frontiers of current knowledge.
2. Clinical research is the sole means by which basic research becomes meaningful to the lives of human beings. Breakthroughs in molecular biology or genetics can have no impact on cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment unless they are carefullyevaluated and developed in clinical trials.
Research in the clinic also can immediately inform ongoing basic research efforts. This kind of translational research, commonly conducted by institutions with both a basic and clinical research capability, rapidly tests hypotheses generated in the laboratory. Immediate feedback from the clinic obtained through translational research can meaningfully redirect basic research efforts and stimulate the generation of important new hypotheses.
Despite its importance, clinical research is significantly challenged not only by a lack of funding, but often by a lack of involvement on the part of healthcare professionals and institutionsand a lack of awareness among patients of the purpose and benefits of participating in clinical studies. Inadequate legal and regulatory harmonization between countries also means that large international clinical trialsthe kind that are statistically powerful and can rapidly advance medical practicecan be extremely difficult and costly to conduct.
The parties pledge to elevate awareness and commitment to clinical research among all constituencies they represent and to seize every opportunity to strengthen the international research infrastructure. The parties further pledge to advance universal recognition of informed consentthe process by which patients are fully advised of the purpose, risks, and benefits of any clinical study. In so doing, the parties seek to enable rapid, powerful and inclusive clinical trials that ethically engage and also empower people with cancer.
Despite the considerable strides that have been taken in the fight against cancer, survival outcomes vary dramatically throughout the worldnot just between countries, not just between cities, but even between institutions within the same city. Wide variations in standards of care and access to quality cancer care are a major cause of these discrepanciesand the often unnecessary morbidity and mortality that result.
The parties reaffirm Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that every individual has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care. Given the ubiquitous presence of cancer and its impact on society the parties commit to promote quality cancer care within the local economic context for all individual. The parties therefore endeavor to promote:
Evidence-based medical practice and clear definition of quality care according to all available scientific evidence.
Systematic development of guidelines based on the best available evidence for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care.
Appropriate prioritization of quality anticancer care at every level of healthcare provision, consistent with the total burden of disease.
Intensified cancer specialization and better integration of care among medical disciplines.
Widespread patient access to high-quality clinical trials.